Tidawhitney Lek destabilizes the way we might try to read the specifics of time and place in her work, creating paintings that blend a sharp attention to the details of everyday life with surreal elements that allude to myth, violence, and history. Her large-scale figurative canvases often feature multiple perspectives, sites, and narratives occurring simultaneously. In Lek’s imagined universe, images of her own life as part of a multigenerational family, the lush beauty of the natural world, and enticing details of patterns and decoration are twinned with the constant presence of memory and an allusion to the possibility of something more sinister. Multiple points in time and different places across the globe coalesce on the canvas; the horrors of the past are brought barreling into the space of intimate domesticity. In Lek’s work, memory is a collective force, and global histories are personal, always shaping the present.
Tidawhitney Lek (b. 1992, Long Beach, California) received a BFA from California State University, Long Beach. Her work has been shown in recent solo exhibitions at Long Beach Museum of Art (2023); Taymour Grahne Projects, London (2022, 2021); Sow & Tailor, Los Angeles (2022); and Luna Anaïs Gallery, Los Angeles (2021). Recent group presentations include those at Ben Brown Fine Arts, London (2022); Long Beach Museum of Art (2022); Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (2021); and Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, California (2020).